The Titan

An interesting though somewhat odd science fiction movie. There is a lot that I liked about the film, but there were some perplexing plot turns that didn’t make sense and just seemed to be in there to up the stakes but for seemingly no good reason. Overall I liked it.

I give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

The Book of Henry

I thought it was a great movie. It might not be groundbreaking and the premise of precociously intelligent children has been run into the ground and is a bit of a deus ex machina here but I still enjoyed the performances and story. Worth watching, in my opinion.

I give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

Veronica

Frankly, it didn’t bring anything new to the genre and would have been better if they avoided the cheesy digital effects. They had a good opportunity for a twist at the end that never paid off. It had potential but fell flat.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Fullmetal Alchemists

A liveaction film adaptation of “Fullmetal Alchemists” anime. I saw half of the original anime years ago on cartoon network. It was pretty close to the anime as far as my memory goes.

The reverse white washing felt weird. The anime was made in Japan but takes place in an alternate time line roughly in Germany. Seeing south-east Asian actors with blond wigs calling each other by Germanic names that they couldn’t pronounce was a little confusing at first but you eventuall halfway get used to it. It’s no weirder than the normal Hollywood white washing though so it’s no big deal at this point.

I liked that it went through a lot of the story in the film that the anime dragged out laboriously. It was an okay movie overall but some of the cinematography looks like cheap TV and other times looks highly polished.

It’s worth checking out if you liked the anime but some fanbois might find too much fault with the pace and character portrayals that casual viewers of the series could ignore.

I give it a 3.5 out of 5.

Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets

Nobody does futuristic movies like Luc Besson. It was incredibly visually stunning. The aliens, technology, and environments were really mind-blowing. Sure, there was some really silly Jar Jar Binks level silliness and plenty of stuff seemed to be ripped off from his earlier work, specifically The Fifth Element. But I really enjoyed the overall movie. I even enjoyed Rihanna’s scenes but I felt that Herbie Hancock’s cameo was a little confusing; his performance wasn’t up to snuff for how much of the film he’s in. I’m sure there’s some production backstory or something as to why he was in the film that I’m not aware of but I don’t think that it would make up for his choppy line delivery and poor acting performance.

I give the movie a 4 out of 5 stars.

Voice From The Stone

An odd horror film starring Emilia Clarke. It was very atmospheric and the end was actually a surprise twist that I didn’t see coming. It’s a weird film that feels at times impressionistic. It reminded me of a European film, not just because it takes place in Europe; it is an American film. Overall I liked it.

I give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Morgan

A 2016 movie directed by Luke Scott. It was a rather lackluster and typical sci-fi horror. It was “okay” but rather predictable and brought nothing new to the genre. I agree with the critic consensus that the film focused on action instead of character development.

I did think that the “twist ending”, while predictable, was the right choice storywise and I would have been annoyed if they had gone in a different direction. Granted, the predictability did slightly decrease the enjoyment since there was no surprise.

I give it a 2.75 out of 5 stars.

Bright

It was okay. Overall I liked it even though the ending really seemed rushed; this story would have worked better as a series. Too many unanswered questions and unclear character motivations due to lack of backstory and character development. Despite the problems I still liked it.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

What If

It was a pretty good romantic comedy staring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.

The only criticism that I have is that I HATE in so many movies in the “romance” genre, the whole conceit of the “meet cute” is based on one of the characters already being in a relationship that they are actually already quite happy in which inevitably ends when the two main characters realize that they are in love. This is more common in what some call “chick flicks” which I find a little disturbing. I don’t personally find infidelity at all romantic and am surprised how many people do. I’m not saying that anyone should stay in a bad relationship at all… but if you are already in a pretty good relationship and just happen to meet someone that you are more attracted to… it’s pretty shitty to dump your partner! What happened to “if you can’t love the one you want, love the one you’re with”? Instead it’s really “Whoa, that person is funnier and hotter than my partner… I’m going to dump them and pursue this new person!”

I guess that is somewhat realistic though. So many people cheat on their partners, it’s probably more statistically probable than a relationship where the partners are both completely faithful for the entirety of their relationship. The statistics say somewhere between 1/4 and 3/4 of mean and women cheat in their relationships… though what construes cheating is defined differently from person to person.

So, this cliche rom com trope aside, I liked the movie and think it’s worth checking out. The two main characters have really good onscreen chemistry and the banter is great.

I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

The Circle

It was much better than the 16% critic score from Rotten Tomatoes. I actually liked it a lot. I really liked Emma Watson’s performance and thought she did a pretty good american accent. Interesting social commentary, I was surprised by the ending. I’m guessing that many people had an expectation of what they thought would happen and the movie went in a different direction and thus the bad reviews.

I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Destiny

A 1921 film by Fritz Lang. It was a very good silent film. The reconstruction and restoration of the film seems to have been very well done. This is one of the better films from the era that I’ve seen. The effects were very ambitious and surprisingly well done. I also appreciated the use of the color tints to indicate different locations, times of day, and effects like red for fire. The title cards were very well done too, different scenes take place in East Asia and the Middle East and they edited the German script to resemble the languages of those regions which was a nice touch. For a silent film I thought the acting was pretty good too. This is definitely one of the better edited films of the time; there are relatively few jump cuts and they are matched pretty well. The only thing that didn’t work for me was the score… I’m not sure if it would have been the original music or if it was just used for this production but it didn’t always match the mood of the scenes. I think it would also have been better if the music matched the exotic locations like East Asia and the Middle East. Many of the sets and costumes were very well done as well, for which I was a bit surprised. I thought the story was also pretty good with the setup and then the three vignettes.

The effects and editing make this a stand out for me.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Skins

A film by by Eduardo Casanova on Netflix. It’s a masterpiece of production design and cinematography. An excellent first feature, for sure. The film is evocative of work from Wes Anderson, Michel Gondry, and Luc Besson. Definitely check it out.

I give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

Haunted Trailer

It was weird, to say the least. I gave it a 2 out of 5 but if the whole movie had been like the 3rd act then it would have been a 3 out of 5, easy. It really picks up at the end and gets really weird. Like, REALLY REALLY weird, but mostly in a good way. The first 2/3 of the movie is a little hard to watch; it’s weird but not in such a good way.

I give it a 2 out of 5 stars.

Hunted

A Canadian horror film, alternately titled “Rufus” in some markets and on IMDb. The acting was a little amateurish, but not terrible, but the production quality was very good. I point out that it’s a Canadian film because to me it has a very Canadian feel as far as the characters and setting. It feels very culturally distinct from US films. It’s not your typical vampire movie and is more like “Let The Right One In” and “Byzantium”. I liked the somber tone and slow-ish pace. The mythology was interesting while not completely unique, definitely a rare take on vampires. There were some interesting themes at play with some of the characters.

I think the average movie watcher, especially of the horror genre would probably give it a 2.5 to 3.0 out of 5. But I really liked it. I love the character piece horror films where the horror element is just a piece of the puzzle and the movie is about the character, not the affliction.

The ending is a little cheesy; it would have been better as a tragedy, in my opinion. The movie poster on Amazon Prime is a little over the top and doesn’t reflect the feel of the movie. The poster for the film on IMDb which shows the main characters is much more reflective of the film. The title the Hunted is only vaguely related to the film and it would be better to just be named Rufus. I’m guessing that the Amazon poster and name change are some marketing execs big idea to get people to watch the film.

I think most people wouldn’t agree with me on this but I give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Assassin’s Creed

┬áIt was “okay”. I only played the first game a really long time ago when it first came out but it seems pretty loyal to the source material, as I remember it. For an action movie it was watchable but some of the story is silly in a Dan Brown sort of way but I guess the video game was too.

I give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Welcome back, Potter

Yet another Cracked Studios series. This one is similar in feel and quality as the other two I watched (Starship Icarus and The Stumbling Dead) but the humor is slightly better. The portrayal of adult Harry Potter as Hunter S. Thompson (by Michael Swaim) is actually amusing and quite watchable. The actress portraying Hermione (by Katy Stoll) was in the other cracked videos and she’s actually good in all the stuff I’ve seen her in and does a passable English accent. Again the concept is pretty cool and the production quality is actually quite good… but it falls flat; short of being actually good. So much potential but something in the execution just falls short of the bar of acceptable. This short series is a step up from Cracked Studios’ other stuff. Watch at least the first episode just for the Hunter S. Thompson portrayal.

I give this a 2.5 out of 5 stars

Nobility

A three-episode pilot series on Amazon Prime. It was pretty awful. I understand that it’s basically a spec series but the production value was really uneven; some sets were more fleshed out-ish and physical, some sets were poorly and fully digital. The storyline, characters, dialogue. Nothing was good. The few celebrity cameos were wasted. I just can’t say enough bad things. Sorry, I can’t be more descriptive but I was just really disappointed.

I give it a 1 out of 5.